Matt Ryan and the offense were historically good. He deserved the MVP trophy he brought home, the first in Falcons team history. Devonta Freeman had another 1,000 yard season on the ground while catching 54 balls. Tevin Coleman is a great compliment and the running game as a whole averaged an outstanding 4.6 yards per carry. Julio Jones who has always been a stud was able to show off his stuff on the big stage in the playoffs and Super Bowl. He is right there with A.J. Green as the premier wide receiver in the league. I know little guy Taylor Gabriel gets more press but free agent Mohamed Sanu probably made the biggest difference in the receiving corps. Atlanta needed a number two receiver badly and he gave the Falcons exactly what they were looking for. Speaking of free agents the biggest pick up was center Alex Mack who solidified the offensive line (which had the same starting five for every game including the playoffs) ensuring plays could develop and provide solid blocking for the running game.
There is definitely hope for next year. While getting back to the Super Bowl is against the odds you have to think this team has what it takes to do it. The defense will get back their top cornerback in Desmond Trufant who was out after week 9 with injuries. That side of the ball will have to restock some due to some players expected to leave but nothing that can’t be overcome. The loss of offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan may be the biggest blow to this team. Steve Sarkisian will replace him but it is hard to tell how that will affect the offense. He is definitely an unknown in the NFL.
For now I’ll sit back and appreciate the season that was. They don’t come around too often unless your teams is named the Patriots. Tons of great stuff to like and much to look forward to next season. Now I just need to order that NFC Championship hoodie…